Quicker Shutdown of Windows 7

I’ve had problems recently with my Windows 7 laptop hanging randomly on shutdown. It’s pretty weird because my desktop, also equipped with Windows 7 and with pretty much the same programs as on my laptop, doesn’t appear to have this problem. Basically, I’m left staring at the Shutting Down screen for what seems like eternity. Certain times it would eventually shutdown but many other times, it would just hang and being the impatient person that I am, I would do what many would do in this scenario and just hold down the power button to force kill it. Besides when it’s late at night and you’re dead tired, I doubt you really want to take a gamble and “hope” that the computer will shut down eventually.

Well, there’s a quick registry fix/hack that should force Windows 7 to shut down a bit faster.

UPDATE 1/13/11:
The simple registry hack detailed in this article didn’t do the trick for me. For months after applying this hack, my Windows 7 shutdown speed was still slow. However, I found a new registry hack file that claims to also improve shutdown speeds. You can learn and download the registry file here from Sevenforums.com. Initial testing indeed allows my Windows 7 machine to shut down a lot faster. The registry file modification includes:&nbsp

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer]
“NoLowDiskSpaceChecks”=dword:00000001
“LinkResolveIgnoreLinkInfo”=dword:00000001
“NoResolveSearch”=dword:00000001
“NoResolveTrack”=dword:00000001
“NoInternetOpenWith”=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop]
“AutoEndTasks”=”1”
“HungAppTimeout”=”1000”
“MenuShowDelay”=”0”
“WaitToKillAppTimeout”=”2000”
“LowLevelHooksTimeout”=”1000”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet002Control]
“WaitToKillServiceTimeout”=”1000”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet001Control]
“WaitToKillServiceTimeout”=”1000”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl]
“WaitToKillServiceTimeout”=”1000”

[HKEY_USERSS-1-5-19Control PanelDesktop]
“AutoEndTasks”=”1”
“HungAppTimeout”=”1000”
“MenuShowDelay”=”0”
“WaitToKillAppTimeout”=”2000”

[HKEY_USERSS-1-5-20Control PanelDesktop]
“AutoEndTasks”=”1”
“HungAppTimeout”=”1000”
“MenuShowDelay”=”0”
“WaitToKillAppTimeout”=”2000”

The Registry plays a very vital role in a computers operation. One wrong tweak can render a system completely un-bootable! Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you make a backup of the registry by creating a system restore point! I will not be held responsible for your system should anything go wrong by following these registry tweaks. 

This registry fix is pretty simple. Windows 7 by default waits for a number of services to receive a shutdown signal when you initiate a shutdown command. This in turn allows those services to shutdown “gracefully”. The registry fix will allow us to alter the time Windows will wait allowing us to set a lower wait time.

Alright, let’s get started…

We need to edit the registry so the first thing we need to do is open up the registry editor by typing regedit in the Start Menu search box and hitting Enter.

Registry Editor

Drill down to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-SYSTEM-CurrentControlSet-Control

Registry Location

Now, find and double-click on the WaitToKillServiceTimeoOut key. The value on this key should be 10,000 or higher. As you can see for mine, it’s set at 12,000. I believe this stands for 12,000 milliseconds, which equates to 12 seconds. Therefore, Windows 7 will wait for a full 12 seconds for services to gracefully shutdown before shutting down the system.

Edit String

Well, we are going to change that right now. Simply delete the value and replace it with a lower value. I’ve read elsewhere that you should try for a value of 5,000. If you set the value too low, some programs might not actually have a chance to finish what they are doing to shutdown. Yes, they actually still need some amount of time to gracefully shutdown. What we are doing is just shrinking that time window. Therefore, don’t go overboard with too low of a setting here.

Edit String B

Once you’ve set the new value, hit OK and close out of the registry because that’s it. You’re done.

Word of caution: if you’re not experiencing any type of shutdown problems right now, you might not really need to change this setting. This registry hack has most likely been featured in many Windows 7 “tune-up” articles but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m not even sure if this registry hack will help remedy my laptop’s random shutdown problems. During times when my computer did hung, I swear there were occasions when it was longer, actually way longer, than 12 seconds before my system finally shut down. At other times, the wait was simply too long and I had to forcefully hold the power button. But this trick is worth a try.

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